As you probably know, I've been developing the open source 3d Java engine, jMonkeyEngine for many years now. It has been a very good experience in most regards, though lots of work (just have a look at the commit logs or my forum message history.) I've worked hard on it because I really have believed in the dream of jME. I've represented it at several conferences, advocated its use in the gaming community and pressed larger companies to use it and donate work back to it. I have toiled many late nights on its inner workings, ensuring that the jMonkeyEngine continues to debunk the myth that Java is too slow or not capable enough for 3d games and applications. Of course it's an open source project which means no monetary pay (1) but at the same time it has been nice to me providing a good name in exchange for my work.
So yes, I'm very proud of my work on jMonkeyEngine and how far the technology has come. I never dreamed when I first became involved back in 2004 that things would progress so far. Today, I honestly believe that Java could be the next big gaming language, we just need something akin to XNA, etc. to make that happen. Right now though, I do not believe that can happen, or at least I am too tired to keep pushing past the hurdles to make it happen on this project. jME is good, but I think there are still many areas, even fundamental ones, that need to change for it to be a serious contender in the general 3d engine space. Who knows, maybe later on this project, or some other, I can see that dream realized.
What I'm trying to say is that I have recently discovered I'm ready for a break. To be clear I don't mean to stop working WITH jME, particularly at Ardor Labs, just not ON jME day to day. I'm sure the other developers will be happy to help with your patches and such though so keep them coming on the forums and issues board. I'll still be around too, so as always, feel free to give me a shout. The jME community is among the best in the world, and I have loved (and will continue to) working with them in one fashion or another.
And now, for my break... :)
EDIT: Really poor choice of words. Sorry, Mark. My point is there is no money in open source, even for something successful like jME. Mark tells me the money that comes in has barely covered hosting costs for jME, so guys... get those donations flowing!!